A mobile event app is designed to keep attendees informed, organized, connected, and on time to their sessions by using a tool that the vast majority of Americans carry around with them everywhere they go. So it is no surprise that many event planners have incorporated mobile into their event. In the process they have increasingly attempted to incorporate many functions into these apps in order to optimize their interface and keep the attendee interested in using the app during the event.
However, all the time and effort that event professionals and mobile developers put into creating these apps may be doing more harm than good. While we are HUGE advocates of going mobile with your event (just read any of our many app-related blog posts), we also know there’s a right way and a wrong way to do most things. So we asked a handful of industry professionals about their event mobile app pet peeves in hopes of helping our readers and clients avoid these shortfalls in the future. Their annoyances range from too many fancy features to loss of content after the event has concluded. From what we’ve heard, event attendees want three things in an event app: interaction, simplicity, and continuous access to content.
Here’s what our event professional had to say about some major event app shortcomings:
“The two things I hate most about event apps: 1. Having to wait for ages until any updates are loaded (happens mostly with trade show apps) 2. Downloading the app just to find out it only re-packages the content that is available from the website – and which I would prefer to access via a responsive website! Apps have to offer some kind of added value that a mobile website (or web app) wouldn’t offer, implementing the features of the smartphone like geolocation, camera, networking facilitation via NFC or Bluetooth.”
“In general apps that ask for registration and have no info available before logging in! Secondly, event apps should not discriminate use of functions based on the category of attendee (hosted buyers can use agenda, etc).”
J. DAMANY DANIEL
“Event mobile apps are problematic because they often require the attendee to add an extra step into their already cluttered event prep world. Between managing social media accounts on mobile apps, downloading what is usually a glorified event program, and trying to stay connected with their peers in real life while at the event, it is cumbersome at best to ask them to insert yet another thing into their experience. The successful apps are those that will centralize the process for all digital interaction and communication in one place.”
“From my own experience as an event attendee I hate the following 2 things the most: (1)Event app information is incomplete or not up to date. This one is a real killer, because that’s what an app should do: keep me informed and updated on changes. (2) Packed with too much irrelevant fancy features, so I can’t find the ones that are relevant to me as an attendee (which is mostly event information, attendee networking/interaction). I assume this is mostly due to the event organizers ego winning over attendee benefits. “
“What’s to hate about apps? I hate carrying armfuls of paper, not knowing what’s happening and awkward networking.”
“Tough question and hard for me to answer since I work for DoubleDutch (we make mobile event and conference apps). I think mobile apps are the way of the future and I don’t ever want to attend an event without them! I would say that I don’t love event apps that only contain simple static lists of content. Interactive event apps (where you can post updates, see where other attendees are, post check-ins, etc), are more valuable for me.”
“What I hate most about event mobile apps would have to be the initial download experience. You always have to have the exact name of the app or the developer’s name when you search for it on the App store or on Google play. I typically never find it by simply searching! The one thing I advise all event apps to do is to always include that direct URL link to the app so it is an easy experience and download. “
“[I dislike] that it’s abandoned after the event. I’d love exclusive content from speakers as well as attendee dialog continuously.”
“Heavy weight for logging in to yet again another platform.”
“So many. Core functions that fail to operate unless connected to internet. Venue wi-fi is so spotty still – too much risk with apps that must be online.”
“Actions that take users out of the app, i.e. to a website.”
While this list is long, it probably isn’t comprehensive. If you’re a communications professional and would like to share your own definition of Corporate Communications, reach out to us via Twitter: @flirtcomm. We’d love to keep adding to this list over the next few weeks.